Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Human Potential & Transformation

I was surprised to learn how much I had identified with these prisoners and their struggle to cope with their emotions:

These people have been ignored and are desperate — hungry — for someone to help them to find a better way to cope... How do they experience those emotions? They are literally experiencing sensations on the body and the old habitual pattern is to react to those sensations. But in [the meditation technique] Vipassana, you learn just to observe those sensations because that's what they really are. And not react to them.

All of this reminds me of my own journey that I still struggle with today. I don't know what it means to be touched by this story — perhaps that we are all trying to find our humanity and ultimate freedom within ourselves.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It Takes All of Us to Bring About Change

The problem with making documentary films that use magic bullet scenarios, where you offer a simple solution to a complex problem, is that they lull an audience into a fals sense of complacency. You turn it off and you figure, OK well somebody at least figured out how to solve that problem. We shoot for the exact reverse: you're supposed to be disturbed by our films, you're supposed to turn our films off and realize that this is a complex societal issue for which there is no on simple answer. It takes all of us to bring about change — individuals, political leaders, etc. That's why we still make documentary films because we believe that you can effect some change. - Susan & Alan Raymond on The Art of Documentary Filmmaking.